Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge winners announced

The Seeding The Future Foundation and Institute of Food Technologists have announced the Seeding The Future Grand Prize and Growth Grant winners for the  Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge, which awards a total of $1 million annually for innovations that can transform food systems to be more equitable and lead to safe, nutritious and trusted food using sustainable practices.

This year’s winning innovations include nutrient-dense porridges for schools in Zambia, solar cooling hubs for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, an innovative approach to addressing food insecurity in Indonesia, novel nutritious and affordable composite flours for school feeding programs in Uganda, and a regenerative agriculture model helping farmers in India transition away from chemical-based farming approaches.

Since its inception three years ago, the Challenge has attracted more than 2,400 teams of scientists, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and multidisciplinary teams from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, social enterprises, universities, research institutions as well as small and emerging for-profit enterprises to submit their game-changing innovations that will help transform food systems globally.

“When we created the annual Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge, our purpose was – and still is – to create a powerful, steadily growing pipeline of high impact innovations that address the most pressing challenges food systems are facing globally. We encourage impactful innovations that help food systems to be more sustainable, resilient and equitable, and lead to safe and nutritious food that is affordable, appealing and trusted by the end user,” said Seeding The Future Foundation founder Bernhard van Lengerich.

Out of the more than 900 submissions from 78 countries this year, three Growth Grant winners (each receiving $100,000) and two Seeding The Future Grand Prize winners (each receiving $250,000) were selected. Growth Grants are awarded to organizations that have created food system innovations that are doable, have projected economic feasibility at scale and high-impact potential to improve the lives and health of people and the environment. Seeding The Future Grand Prizes are awarded to organizations that have demonstrated that their innovations are scalable, economically feasible at scale, are trusted and compelling to the end user, and have major impact potential to improve the lives and health of people and the environment.

Here is the list of Seeding The Future Grand Prize and Growth Grant Winners:

Seeding The Future grand prize winnners

  • The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on behalf of its HarvestPlus program for their development of nutrient-dense porridges for use in school feeding programs in Zambia. These porridges utilize biofortified traditional food crops that are farmed and produced by women as additional contributions to the household income. IFPRI and HarvestPlus aim to uplift and equip vulnerable youth to grow into healthy, productive adults.
  • Naandi Foundation for its implementation of ReGen, a synergistic regenerative agriculture model to support farmers transitioning away from conventional, chemical-based farming approaches in India. Prioritizing biodiversity over monocultures, regeneration over extraction, and biological agri-inputs over chemical, Naandi Foundation provides a variety of free materials and knowledge tools to help eliminate dependence on high-cost chemical fertilizers and pesticides and improve the health of soil ecosystems and the foods produced.

Growth Gtant winners

  • Association 3535 for establishing four solar cooling hubs and offering cold storage as a service to smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. By installing large, cold storage refrigerated containers and standalone cooling systems that are attachable to existing storehouses, Association 3535 – a 2021 Seed Grant winner – provides smallholder farmers and small-scale fishermen with the ability to keep produce fresh, reducing post-harvest losses and increasing food security and potential income.
  • Kopernik for its Pangan Initiative, addressing food insecurity in West Timor, Indonesia. By adopting an innovative approach that prioritizes the return to and use of indigenous farming practices, food preservation technologies, and a circular economy approach utilizing black soldier flies to convert organic and food waste into animal feed and compost for farming, the Pangan Initiative will create a more climate-resilient and self-sustaining food system and community.
  • Nurture Posterity International for its development of NutriPosh, nutritious and affordable composite flours for use in school feeding programs in Uganda. In addition to providing enhanced nutrition through the inclusion of pumpkin seeds in a stable composite Maize flour, NutriPosh sources ingredients produced through regenerative agricultural practices, utilizes solar powered dehydration technologies in their flour production, and uses biodegradable packaging. The NutriPosh approach ensures environmental sustainability across the entire supply chain. Nurture Posterity International is a 2022 Seed Grant winner.

“IFT is proud to support and help advance the work of its members, the science of food community, and programs such as the Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge to ensure food security for a growing global population,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean.

About Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of approximately 12,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and innovate to advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science and innovation is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all.

About Seeding The Future Foundation

The Seeding The Future Foundation is a private, non-profit organization motivated by its core value that everyone should always have equitable access to safe, nutritious, affordable, appealing, and trusted food. It seeks to inspire innovative solutions that can help transform the global food system to be more sustainable and benefit the health of people and the environment. The Foundation provides seed funding and support to promising ideas and high impact innovations to improve food systems globally, technologies to reduce post-harvest losses in developing regions, as well as foundational work in academia and research.

Jim Cornall is editor of Future Food Today and publisher at Ayr Coastal Media. He is an award-winning writer, editor, photographer, broadcaster, designer and author. Contact Jim here.